Society of Early Americanists Conferences

The SEA hosts annual conferences. In odd-numbered years, the Society hosts an open-topic general conference known as the Biennial Conference. In even-numbered years, it hosts Special Topics conferences. The SEA also sponsors panels at our affiliated societies: the American Literature Association & the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Upcoming Conferences

The Society of Early Americanists Tenth Biennial Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 2-4, 2017

The 2017 SEA Biennial will be anchored in downtown Tulsa, with special events at the University of Tulsa’s Helmerich Center for American Research at the Gilcrease Museum of the Americas. There will be an optional field trip to the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah and a tour of the Tulsa Race Riot Memorial & Greenwood District (site of the 1921 race riot). Proposals for traditional or experimental format sessions on all aspects of early America are welcome, but we will be especially attentive to the question of the public in early America as well as the public place of early American studies today. Optional public outreach activities, especially involving local schools and teachers, will be available to interested attendees. There will be travel fellowships for graduate students & adjunct faculty, schoolteachers, tribal historians and curators. Plenary speakers will include Prof. William Warner of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

For more information about the conference, please see the SEA 2017 conference website here.

Thank you!

Laura Stevens
SEA President, 2015-17
Associate Professor of English
The University of Tulsa


The American Literature Association 28th annual conference, Boston, May 25-28, 2017

The Society of Early Americanists will be sponsoring three panels at the American Literature Association 28th annual conference, Boston, May 25-28, 2017. The deadline for proposals has now passed. More details about the panels are forthcoming. Thank you.

1) New Directions in Early African American Literature

2) Fake News: Editors, Periodicals, and the Transmission of Information in Early America

3) Teaching Early American Literature in the Age of Trump

Thank you,

Professor Len von Morzé
Society of Early Americanists ALA Conference liaison, 2014-2017
Department of English
University of Massachusetts Boston

The American Literature Association’s 28th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston on May 25-28, 2017 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). For further information, please consult the ALA website at or contact the conference director, Professor Olivia Carr Edenfield at with specific questions.

The Society of Early Americanists Special Topics Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 1-4, 2018

Religion and Politics in Early America

CFP – Religion and Politics in Early America (Beginnings to 1820)

St. Louis, March 1-4, 2018

Sponsored by:
The Danforth Center on Religion and Politics
The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy
The Society of Early Americanists

Seeking Panel Series Proposals

We seek proposals for a panel series (3-5 related panels in a themed series) for the special topics conference on Religion and Politics in Early America, March 1-4, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri.

As a way to ensure a diversity of topics and to add depth to specific themes, this conference will run both individual panels and a limited number of “panel series” during the conference.  Each series will be composed of 3-5 related panels devoted to a single topic, and each series will culminate in a final session where all the participants of that series will meet to review the discussion and lay groundwork for future study and collaboration.

Each series can mix traditional panels (3-4 papers, with or without a respondent) with roundtables and other forms.  The series must have an organizer for contact information and a minimum of ten participants.  The more fully formed a series is before being submitted (with titles for each panel in the series, topics or titles for each paper in an individual panel, and a list of already-committed participants) the more seriously it will be considered by the program committee.  All participants in a panel series must agree to attend the other panels of their series (which will be held on Friday and Saturday), as well as the final session of the series on Sunday morning.  The idea is to have each panel in each series open to all conference attendees, but also to ensure a continuity of audience and discussion across the series with fellow participants.

Please send your proposals for a panel series to by January 30, 2017.  The program committee will choose a limited number of series to run at the conference.  There will be another CFP later for individual panels and papers, and those not selected as a series will be able to resubmit as individual panels.  For now, we are seeking proposals only for a panel series (3-5 linked and related panels under one topic).

If you have any questions, please email Abram Van Engen at

Thank you!

Image Credit: Detail of the present-day Oklahoma region from Thomas Jefferys’ American Atlas: or, a Geographical Description of the Whole Continent of America (1776), courtesy of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, McFarlin Library, the University of Tulsa.

Updated: 01/18/17